Tensions reemerge in Kashmir, ‘2 Indians killed’
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Tensions reemerge in Kashmir, ‘2 Indians killed’

Media reports said a five-year-old girl died on Monday after a mortar bomb landed near her house in Poonch, a district on the Indian side of the frontier in Kashmir. A spokesman for India’s Border Security Force said one trooper with the force was killed and three others were wounded in the shelling as well. Indian army spokesman Lt. Colonel Devender Anand said Indian forces returned fire along the de facto border. Pakistan did not immediately comment. The latest clashes in Poonch — which often sees heavy shelling between the two arch rivals — came just hours after four armed men were killed in a firefight with government forces in Pulwama, a district closer to the main city of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir. Police said one of their officers was injured, along with three soldiers, in the shootout with militants. Such violence between armed groups resisting Indian rule and government troops is not uncommon in the restive mountainous region. But fighting has been particularly bloody this year, with at least 162 people killed between January and March. In February, at least 40 paramilitary troops were killed in a bombing in the region. New Delhi, which blamed Pakistan for supporting the militants behind the blast, launched retaliatory aerial raids inside Pakistani territory for the first time in decades. Tensions escalated as Pakistani and Indian jets fought over the skies in Kashmir. The situation only partially calmed down when an Indian pilot who had been captured in the fighting was returned by Pakistan in a gesture of goodwill. Sporadic fighting continued, but, most recently, tensions had largely subsided. Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their partition and independence from Britain in 1947. The disputed region is claimed in full by both sides, which have fought three wars over it. India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks. Pakistan strongly denies the allegation.

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